In Parliament

Members Statement - Veterans Support



Wednesday, 5 May 2021.

Mr NEWBURY (Brighton) (10:01):

The Rotary Club of Brighton recently welcomed retired special forces major Heston Russell to their annual Anzac dinner. Heston has championed supporting returned servicemen by founding Voice of a Veteran, an organisation whose originating purpose acknowledges that more than 700 veterans have been lost to suicide since 2001.

In recent times Australians have seen a small number of allegations of service impropriety sensationalised through the media. A trial by media will never independently test allegations or allow for the presumption of innocence.

Community leaders must be proactive and stop our broader defence force from being tarnished. The post-Vietnam mistakes must never be repeated.

Elected officials have a responsibility to stand up. Sadly, some who should have led have remained notably mute.

My community has always and will always stand shoulder to shoulder with our defence force personnel.